Car crashes occur for all kinds of reasons, and many of them relate to violations of traffic laws. For example, drunk driving is illegal in every state, and yet it is a persistent safety issue on the road. Thousands of people each year lose their lives because of impaired motorists. Many others get hurt because of other types of traffic law violations.
Perhaps the single most common traffic violation is speeding or intentionally traveling at a rate of speed faster than the posted limit for a specific road. Speed limits are different depending on the zoning nearby, the density of houses or businesses present and the type of road in question.
Many people view speeding as a victimless crime based on a law that police officers only enforce to generate money in the form of traffic citations. However, a review of traffic collision statistics makes it clear that speeding actually has a very strong association with the worst collisions that occur in rural and urban areas alike.
What does traffic data say about excess speed?
Traveling at high speeds greatly increases the risk of a crash and the severity of collisions. Drivers are more likely to lose control of the vehicle or to have trouble stopping or maneuvering safely at higher speeds. They may not have time to react when someone steps into traffic or slams on their brakes. Collisions are more likely to cause catastrophic vehicle damage or pedestrian deaths when at least one of the vehicles maintains a very high speed. According to crash statistics provided by the National Safety Council, 29% of the traffic deaths in 2021 were the direct result of excess speed. There were 12,330 people who died in 11,057 crashes.
Speeding may open the door to personal injury lawsuits
After a crash caused by excess speed, the officer responding to the scene of the collision may choose to issue a citation to the driver who went too fast and caused the crash. Official records of them violating traffic statutes may pave the way for a personal injury lawsuit.
Both negligence and misconduct can lead to legal and financial liability if someone causes a wreck. If crash victims incur losses beyond what insurance will cover, they may need to consider taking legal action if someone who caused their harm after violating traffic statutes. Understanding the connection between vehicle speed and crash risk may be beneficial for those recently involved in a serious collision, as a result.